Microsoft's 'Men in Black' kill Florida open standards legislation
It was just a bit of text advocating open data formats that was slipped into a Florida State Senate bill at the last minute with no fanfare, but within 24 hours three Microsoft-paid lobbyists, all wearing black suits, were pressuring members of the Senate Committee on Governmental Operations (COGO) to remove the words they didn't like from Senate bill 1974.
Here's the text the Microsoft-paid lobbyists didn't like:
28 ...(1) By July 1, 2009, the Agency for 29 Enterprise Information Technology shall develop a plan and a 30 business case analysis for the creation, exchange, and 31 maintenance of documents by state agencies in an open format 34 10:16 AM 03/28/07 s1974p-go00-pd3 Florida Senate - 2007 PROPOSED COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE Bill No. SB 1974 Barcode 565342 585-1947A-07 1 that is capable of being: 2 (a) Published without restrictions or royalties; 3 (b) Fully and independently implemented by multiple 4 software providers on multiple platforms without any 5 intellectual property reservations for necessary technology; 6 and 7 (c) Controlled by an open industry organization having 8 a well-defined inclusive process for evolution of the 9 standard. 10 (2) Each state agency must be able to receive 11 electronic documents in an open, extensible markup 12 language-based file format for office applications and may not 13 change documents to a file format used by only one vendor. 14 (3) The Agency for Enterprise Information Technology 15 shall develop rules for state agencies to follow in 16 determining whether existing electronic documents must be 17 converted to an open, extensible markup language-based file 18 format. In developing guidelines under this subsection, the 19 agency shall consider: 20 (a) The cost of converting electronic documents; 21 (b) The need for public access to the documents; and 22 (c) The expected storage life of the documents.
SB 1974's overall intent was -- and still is -- to create "an Agency for Enterprise Information Technology within the Executive Office of the Governor."
Source: Enterprise Linux.com